Today, business growth means larger facilities and more locations which in turn multiplies the amount of waste generated. No matter what type of business venture you operate, your organization will generate a significant amount of waste. For example, re-branding and or investing in a new product rollout results in new packaging ideas that equate to a different kind of waste, requiring a plan for extended waste management. While many people have good intentions as it relates to recycling, at least 62% of Americans suggest that a lack of knowledge is causing them to do so incorrectly. Moreover, their concerns derive from an absence of recycling information and a general misunderstanding of what can and can’t be recycled.
Therefore, it is fair to say that recyclers play a vital role in helping state and local government agencies manage their roles and responsibilities in providing a critical outlet for the recyclable materials generating within their communities. Recycling agencies take on the task of ensuring that recyclables collected and processed can successfully enter the manufacturing supply chain.
Years ago, paper was manufactured using an assortment of materials such as cotton, wheat straw, sugar cane waste, flax, bamboo, wood, linen rags, and hemp. Nevertheless, fiber remains the basic element in making paper. Today fiber is mainly outsourced from wood and recycled paper products.
- More than 75% of U.S. paper mills depend upon recovered fiber from recycling operations for their daily production needs, and a significant number of paper mills in the U.S. rely on recovered fiber for 100% of their feedstock. Recovered fiber can be used to produce new paper products made entirely from recovered fiber or from a blend of received and virgin fiber. Fiber cannot, however, be recycled infinitely. Recovered paper with long cellulose fibers has the greatest flexibility for recycling as it can be used to produce new paper products that use either long or short fibers. Newspaper for example contains short cellulose fibers and therefore, can only be recycled into other products that use short cellulose fibers.
- Recyclers are responsible for supplying 58% of the feedstock to tissue mills throughout the United States. They are then charged with producing the toilet paper and tissues needed every day by citizens throughout the U.S. and which are currently in critical supply.
- The high demand for and delivery/transportation of food items are dependent up food packaging which is produced using a variety of recovered paper grades and plastics made from recyclables collected and processed by the scrap recycling industry.
Scrap metal waste is believed to be an unpopular sector of the recycling industry. However, scrap metal export is one of the largest in the U.S. When metal is recycled, we can reduce the amount of ore mining throughout the world. Some of these metals include aluminum, copper, steel, brass, and iron which can be converted into cash these days.
- The steel industry in the United States relies on ferrous scrap as its single largest raw material input. Seventy percent of all produced steel and stainless steel is manufactured from ferrous and stainless scrap supplied by recyclers. The backbone of the steel industry is grounded on the ability of scrap recyclers to produce and deliver high-quality iron and steel scrap.
- Aluminum produces in the United States have become more and more dependent on recycled aluminum as their key raw material due in part to the large energy and cost-saving associated with consuming secondary aluminum scrap over the primary version. A little more than half of the aluminum produced in the United States is generated from scrap.
- Cooper and copper alloy production in the United States is also heavily reliant on scrap as a raw material input, which requires scrap recycles to continue operating. Cooper’s anti-microbial properties are a key element to reducing the spread of disease and are widely used in hospitals and other settings to reduce transmission rates. Copper scrap provides approximately one-third of the supply of all copper, brass, and bronze produced in the United States.